Who knew Jerry Seinfeld was a prophet? Back in 1993, one of the most famous episodes of his show, “Seinfeld,” humorously acknowledged what was then a creeping climate of political correctness. The episode called “The outing” found Jerry and his buddy George Costanza having to very carefully defend their heterosexual relationship. After a college reporter mistakes the two for “a couple,” Jerry and George frantically try to assure him (and everyone else) that they’re not gay, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” The joke was that, although the guys were afraid of being thought of as gay, they were even more terrified of people thinking they were afraid of being thought of as gay.
Fast forward 16 years to the Miss California debacle. Carrie Prejean was a finalist for Miss USA when she was ambushed by the Political Correctness Gestapo. At the interview with the judges, among the usual light and fluffy softball questions came this bombshell, lobbed by openly gay professional gossip-monger Perez Hilton: “Do you believe every U.S. state should legalize same-sex marriage?” For the sake of clarity, I am including Ms. Prejean’s exact answer, word for word:
“Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.”
Let me pause here for another clarification. I’m not a big fan of beauty pageants. There is a fine line between acknowledging physical beauty and setting unrealistic, unhealthy expectations for “normal” women and especially impressionable girls. I don’t know that the pageant culture typically sits on the right side of that line. Having said that, Ms. Prejean’s answer to that inappropriate, unfair question seemed as innocuous as “no” could possibly be. I mean, really, she all but said, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
It doesn’t matter, apparently. After an unrelenting, two-month smear campaign, the forces of political correctness have decided that withholding the Ms. USA crown was not punishment enough; they are now taking her Miss California crown as well. Although pageant officials are mumbling some yadda-yadda-yadda about “contractual obligations,” Prejean sealed her fate on April 19 by simply expressing her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And by admirably refusing to cave in to the tidal wave of outrage and name-calling heaped on her almost non-stop since the moment she spoke.
That Seinfeld episode isn’t so funny anymore. Those of us who disagree with the attempts to redefine marriage and morality—and who have the gall to speak up about it—had better be ready to pay a price. In 2009 America, freedom of speech appears to be progressively selective and enjoyed only by those who think “the right way.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. . .